Cultures in Contact

Dear Middle School Families,
This week our seventh graders finished a major project called the Cultures In Contact Magazine. Before we all head into winter break, I wanted to share their extraordinary work with all of you. As the editor's note to the magazine says, 
"The Cultures in Contact digital magazine is the culminating project of a three month study in Social Studies of the 17th century Powhatan Indians and English colonists in the Chesapeake Bay area of what is now called Virginia, and Kongo Kingdom in Africa. Students conducted guided research on one of the following topics: art, housing & architecture, health & medicine, law & government, food & agriculture, family life & education, and religion. This multidisciplinary project contains three components of learning and making, which took place in Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Art."
Students analyzed primary and secondary sources within each of their areas of study. They made comparisons across the three cultures and identified bias within the sources themselves. Finally, they used their research to produce articles, complete with layout and design concepts drawn from their work in art. The students had an extra challenge, which was to make their ideas and writing organized and succinct enough to be understood by sixth graders. On Wednesday, the students used their magazine articles to give workshops to teach the sixth graders about their topic. 
Below are some samples of the magazine pages (just six out of almost 300!). The full magazines, one created by each homeroom, are available as PDFs here: Chris, Susannah and Suzanne's homeroom and Eliza, Elizabeth and Luis' homeroom. I'm so proud of the intellect and effort on display here. I encourage you to take moment at some point over this break to read and enjoy them. Thank you to the teachers for your expert guidance of students through this process. 
Finally, I wish you all a peaceful and joyful winter holiday season. See you soon.

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